Many things that have until recently been considered societal problems have fallen off of the list. Perhaps it was compassion fatigue. I mean, you can't be upset about fifty things forever. Perhaps it was societal adjustment, like we simply got used to it. Whatever mechanism is involved, our judgment regarding the problematic nature of a thing evolves over time. I won't pretend to understand it, although politics does seem to be involved.
What follows is a very unscientific list of things that are somehow no longer problems. Not, as I say, according to any social or natural science, but based only on the bloggers own readings, correspondence, and observations of the masses. Here goes:
One: RACISM. Racism was considered a huge problem for most of my life. Not only in America, but also around the world. All of that has changed, and believe me, I did not see that coming. Most people point to the election of a black American president as the miraculous turning point. We can't be racist anymore! We elected a black president! Twice!
We must be post-racist!
Two: CLIMATE SHINNANIGANS. Most people need only look out of a window to prove that there is no problem with our climate. It's a beautiful day! (Almost always.) The shops are full of fish, and shrimp, and veal, coffee and chocolate, all kinds of exotic fruits. What were we thinking? Obviously, there's no problem with the climate.
Disclaimer: SARCASM ALERT! This is only going to get worse, so read on with a gentle spirit.
Three: ILLEGAL DRUGS. A big part of this problem was solved with the stroke of a pen by making a few of the drugs legal. This is creating a great number of jobs and bringing in huge tax revenues, so the safe bet is that the phenomenon will only expand from here.
It was a wild conundrum for our elected representatives when the problem of addiction to opium based drugs became a huge money maker for American corporations. There were large financial donations to consider! Oxycontin/ Oxycodone was as American as apple pie. The owners of the company, as holders of the copyright on the drug and the trademark on the products, raked in many billions of dollars. This money was expertly shared with other American entrepreneurs, doctors, pharmacists, Walmart, state and Federal legislators, and all of that was part of the calculus that made the problem so hard to deal with.
Heroin came to the rescue when laws were changed to end the Oxy bonanza, but Heroin can be expensive. Laboratories, mostly overseas, now came to the rescue with cheap, plentiful generic Fentanyl. Fentanyl has real advantages as an internationally distributed illegal drug. It is so fantastically powerful, that a vast number of doses can be contained in a small package. This makes the smuggling much easier, and much safer to boot. The profit that can be made on a smallish box is a smuggler's dream come true. Mixing a bit of Fentanyl in with the ever popular Heroin even brought the end-user price down, so everybody was happy!
This, unfortunately, has become one of those problems that has worn out its welcome. People just don't give a shit anymore. YouTube is full of videos of junkies doing the “Fentanyl Shuffle,” which I believe is supposed to be the modern equivalent of a simple Heroin nod. In the case of Heroin, the junkies would slowly lower their heads with their eyes closed, very gradually assuming an “S” shaped posture. When they got to a certain point, and that point was reached quickly, they would jerk themselves back erect and open their eyes, trying to look like nothing had happened. (“How long was I out?”) On Fentanyl laced Heroin, the junkies bend over at the waist until their foreheads are almost touching their shins, and they stay there. They stand still for long periods of time, folded over like a closed pocket knife. These videos are intended to be informative, but serve better as entertainment.
The videos are made on big-city streets that are famous junkie hangouts. I have yet to see any police activity. Junkies are buying and selling, and injecting, in plain view. No one seems to care.
So, no problem here.
And what happened to meth? I suppose that people are still ruining their lives with meth, but you don't see it in the news anymore. No TV coverage, unless you're watching Breaking Bad.
Four: GUNS. Guns don't kill people; mentally ill people kill people! If they had no guns, they'd kill people with knives/bats/machetes, etc. Donny Jr. blames it on crazy teachers, among other things.
The Constitution! The Second Amendment!
Is anyone else surprised that there are only 400,000,000 guns in America? Because I know a couple of individuals with at least twenty of them, and that's only in California.
Five: DOMESTIC TERRORISM. See above, re: Second Amendment. See also Constitution for freedom of assembly, and those Confederate Battle flags and Nazi flags are political free speech. The actual killers are not terrorists, they are mentally ill murderers. This is really not that hard to understand.
Six: RICH PEOPLE. If someone starts a business based upon a stolen product, which then goes on to give thousands of people jobs and make hundreds of billions of dollars for the original entrepreneur, they are a maker, not a taker. And if they get to keep almost all of the money, well, it's their money, isn't it? They provide jobs to people, who then also pay taxes. Where could there be a problem here?
Seven: FAILED STATES. Whole giant swaths of the earth are covered with failed states. Nations with no functioning economy and no money, where the citizens try to remain alive by growing their own potatoes. There's no medicine in the hospitals, most of the doctors have left for greener pastures, there's no water in the taps, and most of the children do not go to school. But whose fault is it when an entire country goes tits-up? Why should we care, and more importantly, why should we enable their insane total failure by giving them food-aid or money? You know they just steal the money anyway. Venezuela was always great for a really beautiful Miss Universe contestant, but for most of the others, we never knew anything about them in the first place.
Eight: WARS ALL OVER. Countries all over are getting themselves into wars. Other countries are threatening their neighbors with war. Or threatening their whole neighborhood! Go, have some fun, Google, “victor orban greater hungary.” And he's not kidding. He wants all of that territory back. Putin has at least four or five European countries and several Central Asian countries on his Christmas wish list.
Is this really a problem? First of all, there's a tremendous amount of money in it for us. War is the championship Money-Pit of all time. Half of what we sell them actually blows itself up in normal use, requiring immediate replacement. The other half gets blown up by the opponent, requiring replacement. Think of the destruction of buildings, personal property, and infrastructure. That will all need to be remade or replaced some day, at a huge cost. Countries currently at war, and countries currently being threatened by war, are desperate to buy as many weapons as possible. At the rate the world is going, this will revive the entire rust-belt of the United States! Net positive for us.
Nine: POVERTY. Just ask Ted Cruz: anybody who is poor in America is just not paying attention. They are either lazy, or addicted to drugs. America is the land of opportunity! Start a business and, bingo! You're not poor anymore! Just ask Willard Romney: borrow some money from your parents and start a business! Or you could get elected to some legislature somewhere by mastering the arts of begging for campaign contributions, skimming some off the top, and investing with the help of insider trading information! This so-called poverty problem is simply a failure of individual initiative. Just go make some money.
Besides, nobody goes hungry in America. Those homeless people, that's a choice. Personal freedom. We have the greatest social safety-net in the world. Ask a politician! If you have no money and you get sick, just go to any hospital and there's no charge for anything.
Now there's cheap, legal weed, everybody has a big screen TV, we have Netflix and Disney+. Poverty in America isn't so bad. Eat pizza; drink beer. If you insist on being a lazy asshole, at least you can do it in style.
THIS is the narrative that the Republicans present to their legions of fans every day. A truly amazing number of voters go for it. The Republicans even get the tweekers off of their couches, pausing that John Wick movie, to go out and vote for Mitch McConnel, who has personally saved Kentucky from the evil talons of Satan as far as they are concerned.
It's enough to make you sick.
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